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Topics - CitizenSmith

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Travelling People / Northants Travellers - online index
« on: Monday 11 May 09 10:30 BST (UK)  »

If you have an ancestor who gives a birthplace in Northamptonshire, this site could be useful for tracing their baptism:


Travelling People / BUTLER – Chris and Emmy, Peterborough
« on: Wednesday 08 April 09 14:24 BST (UK)  »
Hi everyone

This is a bit of a long shot - but here goes.

Does anyone know of a Chris and Emmy Butler who lived in and around Peterborough in the early 1980s? They were an elderly couple who featured in a documentary about Gypsy life that was shown on the BBC in about 1984.

The TV programme showed some family photos they had in their lounge - and to my amazement it included an identical photo to one in my possession. This features a elderly couple described by the photographer as "Mr and Mrs Draper who regularly camped in their old vardo at the entrance to the Dunstable Downs Gliding Club in the 1970s...".

I've been trying for years to try and find out who Mr and Mrs Draper were – but it seems very likely from the TV prog that Chris and Emmy Butler were relatives.

If anyone knows anything of the Peterborough Butlers and how they might be connected to the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire Drapers, I'd be very pleased to hear!

Many thanks.



Travelling People / Spotting van and tent-dwellers in 1911: search tip
« on: Friday 30 January 09 15:29 GMT (UK)  »
Hi all

I've found you can specifically search out van- and tent-dwellers from the 1911 census, simply by using the Advanced Search facility and entering Tent or Caravan in the Residential Place box.

Combine that with a ‘no surname’ search (just enter a full stop in the Surname box, as recommended by the site's owners) and it throws up some interesting results: eg, mis-spelt surnames – Bowell and Bosswell for Boswell, Brindley for Brinkley, etc.

For the record, in the English counties currently available, there are 5203 van-dwellers and 836 tent-dwellers.

Hope this helps some folk.


Travelling People / PLATO BUCKLAND IN 1911 CENSUS
« on: Monday 19 January 09 10:13 GMT (UK)  »
If anyone's looking for Plato Buckland in 1911, try searching by DUCKLAND instead. I came across the index entry by accident and realised it was a mis-transcription.

The family includes Plato (born 1883), Osheny, Freddy and Thomas and they're in Axbridge Registration District in Somerset.

Hope this helps someone!

Best wishes


Travelling People / Old School Yard, Tottenham – Taylor and Draper
« on: Tuesday 06 January 09 12:11 GMT (UK)  »
I've recently discovered a reference to travelling showmen/Gypsies in Old School Yard, Tottenham, North London. They are a Delia Draper (widow, born Taylor) and her family in a caravan, belonging to the Hertfordshire Draper clan I'm researching.

Does anyone know anything about this address? Was it a wintering place for show folk?

Thanks in advance.


Travelling People / Humphrey or Draper – Hampshire/Berkshire
« on: Thursday 30 October 08 13:38 GMT (UK)  »
Hi all

Has anyone come across the name Humphrey or Humphries as a Traveller/Gypsy/Fairground name in or around Hampshire?

I'm looking in particular for a Joe Humphrey, who – according to notes seen at the Gypsy Collections, Liverpool – was the father of Mary Ann Humphrey by his partner Sabireni/Sabina/Selina Draper.

According to census entries (1871 at St Mary Bourne, Hants and 1881 at Greywell, Hants), Mary Ann was born c1846 either at Maidenhead, Berkshire or at Baughurst, Hampshire and went by the surname 'Draper'. But her maiden name is given as 'Humphrey' on the birth certificate of one of her daughters in 1867.

Any sightings of a Joe Humphrey – or the baptism of a Mary Ann Humphrey/Draper - gratefully received.




Travelling People / Draper, Elliott and Taylor - fairground folk at Barnet Fair
« on: Thursday 17 January 08 13:34 GMT (UK)  »
Anyone researching Drapers out there - either Gypsies or Fairground people? They tended to travel in Herts/Beds/Bucks.

I've a postcard of Barnet Fair c 1905 showing three coconut shies, one with a banner saying Draper, another for Taylor and another for Elliott, side by side. Does anyone know what their first names might be?

Happy to share my Draper information too.


Searching for any references to a Golden or Golding Hope with a wife named Mary (born Smith).

They were originally from East Anglia (Suffolk/Essex/Norfolk) but in 1862 had a child named Walter Hope baptised at St Peter's, Croydon, Surrey. They also reputedly had a daughter named Mary or Polly who went on to marry Gus Gray.

Are there any other baptisms of children to this couple in East Anglia or Surrey or the counties in between?

Also happy to share my Hope information with others.


Travelling People / Nixey Lovell and Rachel Smith mid-19th century - East Anglia?
« on: Thursday 17 January 08 13:02 GMT (UK)  »
Looking for any references to a Nixey (Nixie/Nixy) Lovell with a wife named Rachel (born Smith). Rachel was baptised 1811 in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

According to oral history, they had at least two children - Nixey and Dora (possibly Midora) - and eventually ended up in Wigan, Lancashire. No sign yet found of a Rachel with a Nixey in any census.

Any sightings gratefully received.

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